Broad, Controversial Land Use Regulations Proposed for Mississippi River through Minnesota

After a failed attempt at similarly broad land use regulations failed in 2011, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is again undertaking an outreach process to create land use regulations along 72 miles of the Mississippi River.
July 5, 2014, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is halfway through a two-year process to "revamp land-use rules along the stretch of the Mississippi River that runs through the Twin Cities area," according to Jim Anderson. The process "is once again pitting cities and development interests against environmental concerns."

"[The] rules that would affect 21 cities, five counties and four townships along a 72-mile stretch of river from Dayton to Hastings."

In St. Paul, for instance, "[almost] 2,000 buildings and nearly 3,000 parcels of land in the city would come under new construction limits near bluffs and steep slopes along the river."

The cities want local control over land use regulations, as do developers, while environmentalists would like to limit the amount of exceptions on the table. Another regulation under consideration that has provoked the ire of environmentalist river proponents: "The rules weaken scenic protections by allowing taller buildings along the river, including some of its most beautiful stretches: the gorge near the University of Minnesota, West Side Flats, Pine Bend Bluffs in Inver Grove Heights and the bluff lands of eastern Dakota and southern Washington counties."

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Published on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
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